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Generic Scaffolding for a non-standard Engineering Design Ethic

Abstract : Our view is not to see engineering from the point of view of philosophy, nor is it to see philosophy from the point of view of engineering. We are offering neither a philosophy of engineering, nor a re-engineering of philosophy, nor a philosophy from an evolutionary point of view, nor do we see engineering as applied science. Moreover our focus is not on validation or justification. Rather, we are proposing that the relationships among philosophy, engineering, science and the arts needs also to be seen from an interdisciplinary, concept genericity perspective, where philosophy, the disciplines or crafts are on equal footing, no one dominating or making decisions for any of the others, where the emphasis is on producing unstable integrative objects seen from the future or played with in virtual environments or multiply configured in different philo/science/engineering theoretical fictions. This is not to say that the other perspectives do not have an important role or are insignificant, but rather that this interdisciplinary generic perspective sets in relief issues that are usually not considered, though are also important. Our aim is to forge new relationships between philosophies, the sciences, the arts and engineering through a reconfiguration of design and philosophy into a unilateral duality of non-standard design/philosophy. From a non-standard design/philosophy orientation, both human subjects and objects are taken as indefinite and generic, capable of assuming determinations not countenanced in standard disciplines. This is not to say that standard disciplines and standard philosophy are ignored. Quite the contrary, they are hyper-retained but decomposed into flows of fragmentary materials that can be recomposed into non-disciplinarily flows of superposed counterpoint or inchoate harmony or melody. For example, conceptual fragments from quantum theory become entangled with those of philosophy (identity and superposition), study of space-time, biology, information and computing, psychology, linguistics and fiction. These compositions can split into unstable and uncertain integrative objects and also into equally unstable heretic collectives or perhaps even forgo splitting into a subject/object duality. In the process of conjugating relationships between philosophies, the sciences, engineering and the arts a generic epistemology emerges that is at once esthetic and ethical. Collective identity, generic decomposition and recomposition and architecting an interdisciplinary generic space to house and support collective and compositional processes, techniques and apparatuses are mutually formed and produced. This generic work needs scaffolding at the boundary between generic space inside and contexts outside to moderate and modulate the entrenched philosophic and disciplinary forces that seek to impose certain human and object identities. The scaffolding both protects the generic non-disciplinary space of non-standard design from the impositional effects of outside contexts and also enables materials from the outside to be used generically inside. For example, the individual as homo-economicus can be refashioned as homo-non-standard-economicus and value as competitive advantage can be refashioned as value for generic humanity. Non-standard philo/design fictions are modes of resistance to the well-entrenched disciplinary and philosophic stories repeated as sound-bites in our mediatized world that also point toward a new non-standard design engineering ethic.
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Contributor : Anne-Françoise Schmid <>
Submitted on : Friday, June 1, 2018 - 6:36:24 PM
Last modification on : Saturday, February 27, 2021 - 3:04:00 AM


  • HAL Id : halshs-01806283, version 1


Anne-Françoise Schmid, Subrahmanian Eswaran, Ira Monarch, Muriel Mambrini-Doudet. Generic Scaffolding for a non-standard Engineering Design Ethic . fPET (Forum for Philosophy Ethics and Technology), May 2018, Maryland, United States. ⟨halshs-01806283⟩



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